How To Boost your Immune System So You Don’t Get Sick – Dr. J Podcast #163
Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about immune health, which is such a relevant topic this flu season. Learn how sugar contributes to a weakened immune system and find out why vitamin D is important in supporting one’s immune system.
Discover some of the natural herbs and supplements to boost your immune system. And gain valuable information on topics like root canal, Raynaud’s phenomenon and glutathione in connection with your immune system.
In this episode, we cover:
02:13 Sugar and the Immune System
11:30 Glutathione IV
16:34 Supplements to boost Immune System
18:30 Raynaud’s Phenomenon
19:24 Root Canal
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Dr. J is here. Evan, what’s going on, man? How was your weekend?
Evan Brand: Weekend was good as always. Hannah, my wife, showed me a picture. You are out there a waterskiing. She said like, “Is he freezing?” I said, “I don’t know. I have to ask him.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, man. It was phenomenal. I mean it was like maybe 65 minutes cold when you’re in colder water and you come up and the air hits it. But I had like a 3 to 4 mm uh— wetsuit and I am getting or I should say waterproof gloves and socks for next week. But I plan on waterskiing every weekend of the year that I’m here in Austin—So that is—January as well.
Evan Brand: That’s impressive. Who drives your boat?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh—I get one of my—my buddy here in Austin as well. He skis as well. So we both kinda just take turns.
Evan Brand: Uhh—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: He’ll drive, I pull him and vice versa.
Evan Brand: That’s a lot of fun.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Well, we’re proud of you for getting out there and practicing what you preach. Getting sunshine, getting movement, getting immersed in the elements of the earth and water and sunshine. That’s great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And also, you get the cold water thermogenesis going, which has some really good health benefits activating that good brown fat really up regulates metabolism, uh— lot of good HPA axis stimulation when you’re exposed to cold like that. So that’s pretty cool.
Evan Brand: Awesome. Awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome.
Evan Brand: We’re gonna chat about uh— immune health, immune function. Know, this time of the year everybody starts coughing and getting sick. It makes you paranoid makes you want to wear a mask everywhere you go, uh— which I don’t do, but I want to stay healthy. I don’t want to get sick, so that’s a big topic that we can hit on. Oh, look! Look! Speaking of—Samuel just commented. He just got over the flu. So there we go.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Look at that. Exactly. Exactly. So, I got an article we’ll talk about here today. It’s called, “What to what to do when you get sick?” Part one and part two. So if you go to my page here, you can grab that link by putting the— you know, what to do when you get sick in the search bar. We’ll put links, too, below these in the podcast as well as the YouTube videos, so you can access any of the things any supplements or any products or any of the material. Uh— really easy access for you. So, we’ll make sure that’s put in the reference section down below.
Evan Brand: Alright. So, I think we should hit the food sensitivity immune piece. I feel like a lot of people, if we use the immune system bucket analogy, a lot of people have their bucket full already due to food sensitivity. So do you want to open up the conversation on it?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. One of the big things is glucose and vitamin C that they look very, very similar to the body. So when you take excess amounts of sugar, especially refined sugar and you increase your blood sugar, uh— that can actually have a effects on decreasing vitamin C absorption or decreasing vitamin C activation. So, vitamin C binds to receptor sites on the macrophage and helps with uhm— you know, the stress of dealing with infections or you’re—you’re basically little pacmen and women gobbling up crap inside your blood stream. And vitamin C’s important. And if you have a lot of sugar in there, that’s gonna impede vitamin C from doing its thing. And sugar also has effects in suppressing the immune system, where they looked at vitamin C absorption or vitamin C activation over time period and you can see that you have significant immune decrease when you’re consuming refined sugar especially excess amounts refined sugar. And don’t forget, refined carbohydrates or more starchier carbs can convert to sugar. So if you were more in the insulin resistance side, that can—even—too much starch can really throw you off, for sure.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Now, what about the testing aspect of immune health? I mean, you’ve got your conventional doctors where they’ll run things like your white blood cells, where we can see things that get affected. If someone’s have like a chronic of virus or something that’s affecting their immune system, we’ll see like the white blood cell count drop. Uh— what else could we see conventionally? Would— would like the DHS ERP? Would that be valuable as uh— immune markers? Is that just gonna be completely and another ball field due to due to its inflammation?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So if we’re talking like an acute like winter flu kind of thing, you really don’t have time to do a lot of testing. I find that the faster you act on whatever is going on, the greater chance you have of reducing getting sick. So, of course, we have the diet and lifestyle components, right? We have get more sleep. Your immune system sucks up a ton of energy. So when you’re trying to kill a bacteria or virus, you really want to make sure your immune system has extra reserves. So get more sleep coz you’ll be more tired. Number two, decrease the refined sugar and excess carbohydrates from your diet, especially grains and refined sugar and alcohol, right? Uh— number three, I would say once we have the stress and the sleep and the diet on board which is kinda like everything, we would then move towards supplements. And of course, we have one our favorite things is medicinal mushrooms. So I am a big fan of Reishi or Cordyceps. You could even to Chaga as well. Doing these at 1 to 2 caps per hour too is a phenomenal way to boost up and up regulate your immune system.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I take mushrooms pretty much every day. I’ve been doing the uhh—an adrenal tincture. That’s Ashwaganda, Reishi, it’s got Chaga, Cordyceps. I basically take all of it together. I wanted to hit on the piece of vitamin D. Many people get their vitamin D check with their conventional docs and their levels are at 20 or 30 and that is just not high enough. And we had a question here from Prince about vitamin D from eggs and fish. “Is that enough or do we need to supplement?” Oh, no, he didn’t ask that. He said, “Do we need exposure to sunlight?” Yes, of course. If you can get exposure to sunlight, that’s great. But you know, there is such thing as a vitamin D winter. So if you’re at a northern latitude like in the Pittsburgh, you’re not get much vitamin D from the sun. So, maybe an hour a day. So, a lot of times it does take supplementation. Dr. Mercola, he prides himself on not having to supplement with vitamin D, but he lives on the beach in southern Florida. And he is out for three hours a day walking on the beach almost naked. So, he’s one exception, where he can omit supplementation. But for most of us, you know, that’s what it’s gonna take to get us into the optimal level. We know when we’re talking about flus and colds and all that, vitamin D is not at the optimal range. That can be a huge factor.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, 100%. A hundred percent. So, off the bat, there is a couple things here. So we talked about vitamin D makes a big difference. Uh— one of the things we do is we’ll do vitamin D hundred thousand IUs which is a lot of vitamin D for three days. That really up regulates your immune system and up regulates these antimicrobial enzymes call cathelicidin. And they gobble up bacteria. So, high-dose vitamin D is one thing I do. We’ll do the medicinal mushrooms called Reishi. You know, Reishi or Cordyceps. I created—I formulated a blend called Immuno Supreme. And that’s a good blend of that has got Monolaurin in there. I have a Monolaurin Supreme as well you can use by itself. Monolaurin is nice because it can gobble up virus, digest the viral envelope. It’s kind of like uhm— viruses use the viral envelope, so the immune system can’t see them. It’s kinda like Harry Potter when he puts on the invisibility cloak. No one can see him, but when it’s off, you can see him. Well, same kind of thing with your immune system. Viruses have their own invisibility cloak. And the Monolaurin helps break it down. We’ll add in the Reishi or the medicinal mushrooms like the Reishi, the Cordyceps, or the Chaga, right? Those are super, super helpful. They get the immune system up regulated. I talked about the vitamin D hundred thousand IUs. I also make note of the vitamin C. We’ll get the vitamin C are pretty high as well, maybe 8000 mg 9000 mg which is equal to eight or 9 g daily. You know, just below bowel tolerance.
Evan Brand: So the Monoluarin, would you use that more like a spot treatment if something comes up? Or are you saying you may even do that throughout a winter season?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great question. So, off the bat, let’s kinda like break things down into symptoms or let’s just kinda give you like a general scenario. So, this morning, I woke up, my throat’s a little bit dry. So, my wife had the heat on a little bit higher in the house. Sometimes the heat could do it. So I’m kinda like, I’m on high alert. So, of course, I am smashing my adaptogens, right? I’m hitting up a lot of Ahswaganda right now. And I’m gonna go crush some vitamin D a bit. And I’m also gonna go juice some fresh ginger. I’m also drinking some apple cider vinegar drinks. I kinda do some apple vinegar shots throughout the day coz that really grabs a lot of the mucus off the back of my throat, which is helpful. I’m gonna go make some fresh ginger tea. Ginger shown to have positive effects at knocking down biofilms and it has effects at preventing viruses from heating or adhesing onto the various cell walls. So keeps the viruses from sticking, so to speak. And it really helps the immune system against viral activation and it helps the lymphatics. So, keeps things moving, better lymphatics is gonna help my macrophages, you know, the little Pac-Man or woman of your body, gobbling up crap, right? So that’s helpful. So doing those things— the Apple cider vinegar, uhmm— the ginger tea, uh— the vitamin D, and course, I start to slam the mushrooms, too, because the medicinal mushrooms get your immune system like up regulated. It’s like saying it’s like taking the army, right? Or the snipers and putting them on high alert. They’re all like perch above, they’re looking down, they’re looking for anything that comes out to move, right? So that’s kinda what I look as the medicinal mushrooms are doing. It’s really getting the immune system ready.
Evan Brand: Now, how about Monolaurin? How would you compare and contrast that?
Is that, do you cycle on? Do you cycle off? I mean, what’s your take?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s a great question. In Immuno Supreme, we put Monolaurin in there. So, there’s a little bit in there, but it’s not gonna be at like a therapeutic level, where if you were to take it by itself. So if you have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a virus going around, right? And you know there’s some kinda virus that’s in the area, your kids bring it home, you just know, right? It’s flu season. You’re thinking it’s a virus issue. Then number one: I’d be hitting ginger tea. Number two: I’d be using the Immuno Supreme, okay? Number three: you can add in— you can add in additional medicinal mushroom, okay? Number four: you can throw in some silver and number five: you can throw in some Monolaurin by itself. I’ll typically do between 2 to 5 things depending on what’s going on. So number one, if I’m under a lot of stress and I start getting sick, then I’m like, “Crap, I need to really hit it hard.” Coz I know my immune system’s more stress. If I’m more relaxed and there’s not a lot of stress going on and I’m sleeping really good, and I may just choose two or three things to start with. So and if I know people around me are coming down with the flu, then I’ll hit more things to help with the flu. Silver, medicinal mushrooms and of course, I’ll hit the Monolaurin by itself— couple of grams a day. 3-4 g a day.
Evan Brand: I like turkey tail. I wanna make some Turkey tail mushrooms. I have been using those a lot, too. And also, Astragalus. We love Astragalus, so I use it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Astragalus is one of those herbs that kinda has an adaptogenic effect. And it cleanses the blood, too. And I will use that by itself. So I like five or six things in my medicine cabinet. I just stocked up last week ordering like three or four bottles of Reishi. Come the holiday season, I actually start adding in medicinal mushrooms that support my immune system at a low dose. I’ll do about 3 caps today. And if I start to feel anything, that goes from 3 to 12.
Evan Brand: Yup. That’s good. We got a question about glutathione IV for a healthy woman in her 40’s. “Is it worth it?” “And how often should I get it?” I’ll speak on it first and hear your take Justin. Uh— I’ve seen hundreds of times on the organic acids test and there’s actually some literature on this, that if you’re taking your precursors for glutathione, like you’re N-acetylcysteine or your vitamin C even in oral form, that you can actually boost up glutathione. So needing an IV if you say you’re a healthy woman, I just think it’s overkill. And it’s probably not necessary unless you just had some crisis thing going on and you needed a quick IV for it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. Great point, Evan. So let me lay it out. There’s two scenarios, right? Scenario number one, is working with the functional medicine doctor as a long-term plan. From a long-term strategy, glutathione IVs are very expensive over a long-term. I mean, if you’re looking at like $30 $40 an IV, and you’re doing that couple times a week, long-term it’s not— it’s not a really good cost-effective solution. I much rather be using glutathione precursors and/or liposomal glutathione over a long-term kinda functional medicine program, okay. Number one if it used punctuated-wise because you’re in the middle of a—a heavy metal cleanse, or you have a lot of mold issues in your home and you’re using it as a punctuated circumstance, or you’re traveling, you decided to go to one of these natural clinics and get an IV coz your traveling and you’re under stress, that’s fine. Punctuated, short-term specific reasons it makes sense. Over a long-term, I don’t think it’s the most cost-effective because there— number one: you get stuck every day. Number two: it’s a little bit expensive. You’re better off using the precursors in the liposomal glutathione moreover the long-term. But I still see value in it and I kinda just outline those scenarios why.
Evan Brand: Yup. For sure. Uh—I’d say can we zoom out a bit. Let’s do like a 30,000 foot view of other things that could be affecting or suppressing someone’s immune system like dysbiosis in the gut, bacterial overgrowth, parasites, the candida issues, adrenal issues, heavy metal issues, liver detox problems. These are things that we see every single day in the clinic by running organic acids and stool testing. If you’ve got parasites or you’ve got chronic bacterial infections like H. pylori that’s suppressing your ability to make stomach acid, you’ve got the list undigested food because of the H. pylori that’s affecting your gut barrier creating leaky gut, therefore allowing the immune system to get under attack and create autoimmunity. So, I think from like a high point of view, outside of just the seasonal illness stuff this time of the year, if you haven’t approached and tested for your infections, your heavy metals, your detoxification markers, now’s a good time.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think it’s great. So, you know, looking where you’re at, I mean, most people that they’re not gonna stuck their medicine cabinet up with maybe five things, but I’d say let’s look at two things, right? So number one, I think the vitamin D is really important just because based on where the Earth’s latitude, the angle of that is at the this time of the year, it’s lower or its less direct, so you’re gonna have less UV exposure, so getting vitamin D is really hard. So getting the vitamin D up. And I went over the acute protocol for it. 100,000 IUs for three days. And step number two is some kind of immune booster. So, if you’re just a regular everyday person and you’re taking some adaptogens like I’ll just take more Ashwagana, which is great immune boosting benefits. Or if you want to add something in additionally, I recommend a vitamin—higher dose vitamin C, bioflavonoids and/or medicinal mushroom or if you want a multi-tasker, in my line Immuno Supreme is a good one. And I’ll put my link below and I know you have couple that you like in your line, Evan. We’ll make sure we put the link for those, too.
Evan Brand: Speak on the testing. Let’s talk about this. I mean, dysbiosis. If you got gut infections, you’ve got parasites, bacterial overgrowth like this is something in your bucket that you can take all the Reishi in the world, but if you’ve got infections, you’ve got infections—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. So again, there’s the zoom in and zoom out, right? So, over the long picture, over you know, over the— over the long run, big picture, we want to create a comprehensive functional medicine protocol that involves supporting the adrenals, fixing the gut, fixing the absorption, which then helps the detox, which then helps the immune system, right? So when that— in the long run, this is ideal, okay? But in the short run, people are like, “Hey, I want to be more natural. I want to be more holistic. I don’t want to— you know, get a vaccine or flu shot or you know beyond a synthetic NyQuil or whatever these drugs are that just control the symptoms. I wanna actually get healthier, but I don’t have time to jump into a functional medicine program. I’m starting to feel down now. What the hell do I do?” So the herbs that I mentioned they’re kinda like the quick fix in the short run. And of course, the easy things you can do in the short run, too, is cut all the sugar out, cut all the crap out, really increased nutrient density, more bone broth, ginger tea, right? Lots of good greens. Those kind of things. Lots of good healthy meats and fats. That’s you know— the diet stuff, the sugar stuff and then we talked about a couple supplement stuff. And in the long run, the goal will be to get you out of functional medicine plan, where we address all the other barriers that you mentioned that would enhance the immune system over the long run.
Evan Brand: For sure. I would give a couple other mentions, too. Uh— zinc can be helpful. You don’t have to go super high with zinc. You could do 15 mg of zinc –
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: Uh—and then there’s also some elderberry, which you don’t necessarily have to do long-term and then uh— Echinacea, too. You could bump some Echinacea up for a couple weeks and zinc, Echinacea, Elderberry. Uh—I’ve even seen your—your B pollens or your B propolis can be cool. Uh—sometimes, people are doing a little bit of the Manuka honeys, but sometimes it can be abused. So, I think those are couple good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We try to __a lot of great info about—you know, actionable info. And again, a lot of people are doing this. We’re putting it out there so everyone can kinda listen to what things, you know, really resonate. And I’ll put a link of some of these products that we—you know, I provide. Evan can do the same as well. So if you want some things that we formulated, we personally use, you can check what we have or you can go look at your local health food store and see what is near you as well. But that gives you a pretty good perspective there. Of course, big picture is we want to get, you know, fix the underlying issues. Short-term picture is here are some immune things that we can do to boost you up in the short run. So, today, I already hit the Reishi up and I’m gonna go hit some vitamin D up. I’ve already hit the Ashwaganda up and I’m gonna also hit my Immuno Supreme up as well. And I’ll do the Reishi again, three capsules around lunchtime and I’ll do three around dinner and before bed. So, I’m doing 12 a day right now just to make sure I’m up regulated. And also, I got my bedtime set tonight for 9:30- 10 o’clock. And I’m gonna get—I’m gonna sleep till probably eight, which is a little later than I normally do. So I’m gonna get a good 9-8, you know, 9-10 hrs. 10 hours, I’d say tonight to really make sure I recharge my body.
Evan Brand: That sleep is—I mean, sleep is free, too. So that’s always good and it actually has a huge effect. You could take all the supplements in the world, but if your sleep is terrible and you’re scrolling on Instagram till 2 AM, that’s bad. You’re not gonna be healthy. You’ve gotta—you’ve gotta address the lifestyle, too. You wanna answer a couple of questions here? We’ve— we’ve got one about – as we get deeper into winter the temperature, gets colder what you recommend for Raynaud’s phenomenon, cold hands, body’s—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You gotta fix the Raynaud’s phenomenon. That’s typically associated with autoimmunity, where it creates a vasospasm in the extremities and the vasculature spasm and then, you don’t get the blood flow there. So it gets colder and you can like, you know, make a motion on your finger and it just stays. It just stays there coz it’s not circulation. So, typically, there’s a thyroid component or an autoimmune component. I’ve seen these hundreds of times, where we actually get to the root cause and that tends to get better on its own. So that is going to be— there is the symptomatic approach, which is get some better gloves with some heat warmers in there. Root cause approach is functional medicine program that gets to the root cause: leaky gut, autoimmune, thyroid issues, for sure.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. A question about root canals. Person had a root canal removed, taking antibiotics. Suggestions on supplements to take after I’m done with antibiotics. I wish we could’ve prevented the root canal coz there’s a lot of issues with three canals. But you got it removed, so that’s good. Uh— suggestions on supplements to take after done with antibiotics. I mean what’s your take, Justin? There are so many—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Definitely good quality probiotics. Ideally, we want to avoid root canals at all cost. And again, if we get a root canal—Ideally, you want to have an extraction. You don’t want the tooth to be there because it’s basically like a diabetic who was a gangrenous limb and he just—you hollow out the bone and then there’s the skin flap there. It’s kinda like that, if you will. Coz what happens is the tissue is there. The tooth is there. But the immune system for that tooth is now gone. The circulatory and the immune system’s gone. So it’s where bacteria and viruses tend to hide. They go where the immune system isn’t, right? They’re pretty smart. They’re stealthy, right? They’ve been around millions of years and they have mechanisms to figure that out. So they’re gonna hide in that tooth cavity and you’re not gonna be able to touch it because the— now the bodies don’t have the capacity to reach the immune system that far, so—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. They’re scary. Dental stuff is huge. We should probably get a couple functional dentist on the show.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m gonna get in my end, Dr. Joan Sefcik in Austin, I’ll get her in and we’ll chat about – we’ve that we’ve got a lot of talks about it. But, in general, if you had its root canal and it still there, do some oil pulling to help act like a magnet the pony crud that could be there. Uh— I’ll look at tooth meridian chart and see where that tooth’s meridians on. What meridian, what organ system or neurological pathway it’s on and see if there any symptoms that you’re dealing with that time up in regards to the root canal and those organ systems and see if anything resonates there. And then number three: try to get ahead of it. Prevent it. If you’re listening and you haven’t gotten to try to prevent it. And number four: I would say potentially look for an extraction and then maybe a bridge option coz that way, you’ll at least have something in there that’s you know, bacteria and viruses are not gonna be able to live in like a sterile ceramic or sterile surgical steel type of implant.
Evan Brand: Yeah. But uh—for this person who had already taken the antibiotics, I would just say that you’d want to do—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Probiotics right now.
Evan Brand: You’d wanna do the probiotics. And I would say the leaky gut support, too. So you and I both have leaky gut formulas.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: It could be helpful. So things that have the slippery elm and the marshmallow root. I’ve got one called the GI Soothe. What’s your—what’s your version called?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. GI Restore. Uhm—that’ll kill the viruses. Gargle it for 1 to 2 minutes and then swallow. In that way, it’s gonna be heading in that inner around that area, where the— the work was done. So if there’s any infection that’s held for sure.
Evan Brand: Yup. That’s good advice. Uh— supplement about HCl. Can you get an ulcer from HCl?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, you can. If you have atrophic gastritis and your gut lining’s already really thin and you’re taking Hydrochloric Acid, it can definitely create irritation to the point—especially if you’re trying to work it up to tolerance. You’re trying to push it higher thinking that’s better. Then that could definitely create an issue there. So, of course, number one, if you’re feeling burning or irritation, don’t do that and back the dose often. Of course, take it with food. And then number two is adding some of the healing nutrients that Evan and I talked about. Whether it’s the the Gastro Soothe the G.I. Restore or something that has an L-glutamine kind of uh herbal anti-inflammatory support formula will really help with the gut lining.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Marshmallow, chamomile, all those things are great. A lot of L-glutamine of course, bone broth and ginger tea is also great, too.
Evan Brand: Cool. Awesome. We’re good. Well, I think we— I think we hit it all. Riley had a question about the vagal tone essential oil. Yeah, it’s helpful, Riley. It’s a good. It’s an essential oil formula and it works. So, it’s something else to have in your toolbox.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. One of the herbs that are in there may be frankincense or lavender. Evan Brand: I have to pull—Let me pull it up—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A lot of these things what they’re really designed to do like a lot of the essential oils just help you relax a little better and the more your relaxed, meaning your—your nervous system kind of down regulates. There’s little bit less adrenaline flowing, your heartbeat’s a little slower. You can kind of relax, you start breathing a little bit deeper and it shifts your nervous system into a parasympathetic type of state, which is the rest and repair.
Evan Brand: Rest and repair. Yeah. What makes sense.—so this has got peppermint, Roman chamomile, nutmeg, so lemon balm and ginger.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ginger is really great. You know, anti-inflammatory. Peppermint is great as well. Excellent for inflammation, too. Really helps relax you. Uhm— you mentioned chamomile’s really good for the gut, too. And then, what else? Yeah. I think there’s a lot of good things in there.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I sold quite a lot of it. So, I mean, it’s definitely a helpful—a helpful thing. I don’t think it’s a miracle cure, but it’s a good—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is that a product that you provide?
Evan Brand: It’s a good thing to have. I do. Yeah. Ameo
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, you like it?
Evan Brand: Ameo is like—and I’ll send you—yeah. I like it. It’s good. I’ve got some at home. I use it. It’s cool. I’ll send you the link and—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I have one or two. I have one by Doterra called Balance, which is good. There are some other ones I think on guard is a really good immune boosting one. You can take a couple of drops of On Guard and put it in some water and drink it. That’s really good immune booster. And also, too, if you’re traveling, you’re gonna be on an airplane, get your immune support boosted up because you’re just in a tube with a whole bunch of recycled air, right? And you know at least 10% of the people on that plane are probably actively sick and coughing and hacking, right? And that air just get totally recycled. So I’m always like, “Oop!” You know, I’m getting my immune support going, right? I’m predicting the worst when I get on an airplane. So my immune system is ready for the assault.
Evan Brand: Agreed. Agreed. And a couple questions—“Can you take immune supplements with food?”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. Yup. Yeah.
Evan Brand: You sure can. “Do herbs contraindicated each other? Like oregano and Echinacea?” Anyone—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I don’t—I think you’re okay. Typically—
Evan Brand: Yeah. I was gonna say typically not. I mean there’s a couple cases where you know, you can’t mix medications with certain herbs, but even that, is—is not too big of a deal. Look up drugs.com and you can type in your—your pharmaceuticals and you can actually compare that—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. And also, you just got to be careful. The big contraindications tend to be ones that have effect blood thinning like ginger is a natural blood thinner. And like if you’re going in for surgery, there gonna want you to be off blood thinners. That would include like ginkgo or ginger or fish oil. So you just have to be very wary of it if you’re going in for surgery. You just have to look up and make sure a lot of the herbs that you’re doing aren’t having blood-thinning effects because you don’t want to be cut open and then bleed more. That’s not good.
Evan Brand: Yup. Yup. Cool. You wanna hit that question on brussel sprouts?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Lots on the sulforaphane and the buzz about Rhonda Patrick for detox, immunity and general health. I think you’re referring to Rhonda Patrick. I think she’s on the Joe Rogan show just a little while back. Uhm— but, yeah, I mean, I think a lot of those cruciferous vegetables are great. There’s not a lot of refined sugar and such. So it’s not hurting your immune system. It’s a whole bunch of added nutrients for detoxification, which are great. Lot of antioxidant, which are great. Run those detox pathways better. I think there are a lot of good things a lot of good things about it. Again, I would need to know a little bit more about uh—detox immunity because it’s a lot of things that we use for detox and for immune health and gut health that we mentioned. And again, it’s not gonna all hinge upon broccoli or cruciferous vegetables. That’s maybe one small component. A lifestyle component, too. So, I wouldn’t hang my hat on all that.
Evan Brand: Uh-huh. Agreed. Yeah. I would say it’s helpful. I’ve done my own sprouts, too. I’ve actually purchased uh—some sprouting equipment. I’ve done it myself. I know Mercola talks about he does sunflower sprouts and stuff. So, yeah, is it a needle mover? I mean, maybe. It’s maybe 5% of the equation. Could it help? For sure. It’s not gonna hurt you. And it’s—you’re getting a lot more bang for your buck out of sprouts as opposed to—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And again, uhm— Charlotte asks, “Should you take biofilm disruptors and antimicrobial herbs at the same time?” In my supplement protocols, we always have ginger tea as an option that I—I push and suggest coz ginger is highly effective at disrupting biofilms. So, I’m a huge fan of adding in good quality ginger tea. And then, Riley uhm—said any supplements for sulfurophane or broccoli sprouts? Uh— typically, I would just look for a really good organic ground-up powder substitute. And then you just take a couple scoops of it and throw it in your shake. So I would look for a really good, organic substitute. I know we have one that we use that a special order called Paleo Greens. That’s one that we use. If you needed that as a special order, you could email the office and we could provide an invoice for you. But that’s one that we use. We look for organic. Uh—we want make sure we’re not throwing a whole bunch of concentrated pesticides and that you know, a wide array of green vegetables that we like, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah. There’s a patented version called__
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s a different one.
Evan Brand: And it’s like 8% sulfurophane and there’s a couple different professional healthcare companies you’d have to get it through practitioner, but there some out there that are in extracted uh—broccoli sprout with I think it’s—let me tell you what it is—one capsule you get the equivalent of 500 g of fresh broccoli or 100 g of sprouts. So, I mean this put sprouts to shame, to be honest.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Because of the concentration.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.
Evan Brand: Also to you too, excellent chat here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.
Evan Brand: I think that’s all the question. We’re probably good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I just want the people to have the big picture is the big picture is get your immune system looked at and supported. 80% of your immune system lives in your gut. So making sure your digestion good, you’re infection free and you’re not adding in nutrients are not adding in toxins or excess sugar that’s gonna shut down your immune system. And then of course the sleep and then from there, that’s the big picture. Short term, we can always add in some of these natural herbal medicines that have been around for thousands of years to really get your immune system up regulated. And again, take a look at my article, “What to do when you get sick” part 1 and 2. There are some great options there.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Make sure you’re not too stressed, too. Make sure you’re not overworking. If you’re working 60 hours a week, I don’t care how many supplements you take. It’s not gonna—not gonna counteract it. You can’t out supplement your way out of a bad lifestyle. So, make sure that’s addressed and you know, if you’ve got bad people, get rid of them. If you got a bad job, try to change it. You know, there’s—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And one thing you can do, too, is get one of these apps. Like here’s one called, “Calm” Another one called “Headspace” Every couple of hours when you get stressed, do a 2 to 3 minute meditation, right? Maybe five if you have five.
Evan Brand: Yeah. It’s a piece of cake.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Like after this call, I’m gonna do a quick 5 minute meditation. And then I’ll get back into generating maybe other video after that and seeing patients in the afternoon. So the more stress— stressed you are kinda leverage now in the technology that’s out there to help get your parasympathetics more activated. Evan, great chatting with you. Again, we talk about supplements. Take a look at some of the suggestions that we made in the reference section and also give you some ideas of your out uhm— abroad and you can kinda look at things that gives you good __ to choose from.
Evan Brand: If you’re listening on YouTube, make sure you hit subscribe on Justin’s channel. Subscribe. Subscribe. Subscribe.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: YouTube is not giving people a lot of notifications. Hit the bell and then you’re– you have a higher likelihood you get notified.
Evan Brand: The algorithm—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cross that bell and then you get all these little tip that say we drop them up. Evan, you take care.
Evan Brand: You take are.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright. Bye everyone.
Natural ways to strengthen your immune system – Podcast #66
Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about the various natural ways we can do and supplements we can take to help boost our immune system, especially when we’re experiencing an acute illness. Find out about what you can do to enhance your immune system and stay away from illnesses. There are a lot of techniques that you’ll learn about how you can supercharge your immune system in this podcast.
Dr. Justin breaks down the different branches of the immune system to help us better understand how it works. Learn about what Vitamins A, C, and D, zinc, and silver can do for the immune system as well as what medicinal mushrooms and adaptogenic herbs can do to help.
In this episode, topics include:
5:28 Foundational info for immune health
11:48 Th1, Th2, IgA, IgG, and IgM
14:16 herbs to boost immune system
17:34 flu viruses and the flu vaccine, symptoms and viruses
24:40 nutrients and vitamins
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan, what’s going on today, man?
Evan Brand: Hey, not much. Just before you and I started talking I was finishing up doing the Bulletproof podcast and it was so fun. I gotta admit, man. I’m not nervous for nearly any podcast but for that one, I was a little bit like, “Oh, man, this is a big deal.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’m a big fan of Dave Asprey and–and a lot of the stuff that he does. That’s great. That’s an awesome podcast to be on.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so I had fun with that so I’m–I’m in the mode of “Let’s do it today”.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool and also we’re gonna be at the Bulletproof conference.
Evan Brand: I know.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Pretty stoked. Are you stoked about that?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m excited. I’m glad I made it happen. I’m glad that you pressured me and kept staying on top me like, “You have to go. You have to go. You have to go.” Because I made it happen and we’re doing it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and we’re gonna be doing some live interviews there and just some live analysis to kinda you know give people some feedback on what’s happening and our take on things. I think we’re even gonna try Periscope, some live–
Evan Brand: I need to download it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Video streams.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, anyone wants to check me out–JustInHealth on Periscope. I haven’t done anything yet but I will soon enough.
Evan Brand: I need to download it, man. I’m behind the times.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, no doubt.
Evan Brand: Well, what did you have for breakfast today?
Evan Brand: I had some organic ground turkey that my wife made last night for Taco night, so I literally just had ground turkey and organic blue corn chips for breakfast and it was delicious. And actually I did a little bit of water with some lime juice cut and squeezed into it and it was good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s awesome. Yeah, we did–last night we did some grass-fed meat and we cooked it up, add some spices to it, and we did some salsa and we did some guacamole as well and cut up some avocados. They were really hard but we just threw them in the VitaMix and added some little bit of salsa and lime juice to it and it was like amazing.
Evan Brand: Oh, that sounds good. I had guacamole, too, last night and it was top notch.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I use these Paleo wraps–love ‘em. They’re like just coconut meat and sea salt and we just threw some of the meat in there and it was kinda like a homemade Paleo burrito.
Evan Brand: Oh, you did–you did ground beef?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, grass-fed meat with some of the salsa and homemade guacamole, threw it in the Paleo–the Paleo wrap which is just coconut meat and sea salt, and it was great. Low sugar, you know, good fats, good proteins. Felt great afterwards. None of this corn stuff, you know, where you’re getting all bloaty and getting that cross reactive gluten stuff. We didn’t have any of that.
Evan Brand: That’s true. I–I ate corn, it was organic corn and I felt okay. So–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, you lived. That’s good.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, if you do the corn that’s, you know, at least GMO-free and organic, it’s better. But corn is one of those things that’s highly GMO’d and–and a lot of pesticides and chemicals, but I find a lot of people, even people that are Paleo, they do better not doing corn. I mean, I will cheat every now and then with some gluten-free stuff, but 90%, 99%, I’ll try just to do the better option like that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, blue corn is the only thing I touch. I stay away from yellow corn even if it is, you know, GMO-free or organic.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, makes sense. Well, we’re gonna dive into the immune system a little bit today. I mean, it’s getting to be that time of the year. I almost got sick in the last week. I mean, my voice never really got hoarse. I just had a slight little cough but I was able to knock it out and knocked it out using some of our natural medicine, immune strategy, and I wanted to dig into the immune system today with you.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so that frog is gone for now?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, that–that frog is just me not having water and speaking for an hour at a time and needing a little bit of lubrication but I had a little bit of a cough and you know, one of the things that I’m a big fan of, any of my patients that listen know that I like the ginger tea especially for die-off reactions, where we’re adding in certain anti-microbial herbs to address any infections we may be seeing. I do couple pieces of ginger I throw in my VitaMix, add just a little bit of water to it, and then half a lime to a full lime squeeze. Don’t put the lime rind in. I learned that the hard way. It makes it way too tart and–and sour but we just do that and maybe just touch of honey in there and I just use the pulp and I put maybe an eighth of it in the bottom of the cup and then add hot water and it’s just enough and it’s really powerful. That ginger is anti-viral, too. So if you have a throat issue and you got some kinda virus that, you know, adhesing on to the–the mucosal tissue in the throat, in the mouth, that ginger can really help decrease that viral adhesion. It’s also anti-inflammatory, to not–it’s also an anti-tussin. So like, you know, Robitussin, right? Those are like anti-cough so it’s an anti-tussin so it can help relieve coughing and that–that–that urge that have that tickle in your throat and wanting to-to scratch it by coughing if you will.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I will admit there was a lady that came into the office this week that was coughing and sneezing and snotting everywhere and she was like wiping her hand–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Gross.
Evan Brand: On her nose and then putting it on the equipment. I was a little bit paranoid. So when I came home, I did a little brew of–I had some liquid Chaga which is a mushroom, so I had the liquid Chaga, I had–I didn’t use Reishi that day. I should have. I used Chaga and then I used Matcha tea and then I just added a little bit of that Schisandra Berry powder and stirred it up and drink it, and I was like, “Oh, I think I’m gonna be okay.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice. Awesome. So you’re a big fan of the Matcha, huh?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I love Matcha. I’m actually running low right now on my supply but I had a whole salsa jar full–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.
Evan Brand: Of just straight Matcha powder.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I just like saying Matcha. It just kind of rolls off the tongue. Matcha.
Evan Brand: It makes you feel cool saying it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. I like it.
Evan Brand: Cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, let’s–let’s dive in to the immune system a little bit. We’ll go over some kind of foundational info for immune health but also some of the supplements that you can use to enhance your immune system because a lot of people, they’re so focused on the supplements but then the diet and lifestyle stuff is all messed up and it’s just like they’re just trying to like put makeup over a whole bunch of pimples. We gotta actually get to the root issue and if we do both, then we actually can significantly supercharge our immune system.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so when you say immune system to me, I mean, the first stress that I picture is blood sugar/adrenal stress that lowers the immune system. A lot of people that are eating this junk and they’re burning the kindle at both ends. They’re trying to be a CEO and run a company on the side and all of this stuff. That adrenal stress taxes the immune system and these are the people that get sick. And I’ve worked with some big wigs before in my day and I’ve seen that those people are always sick. So that’s kinda my starting point is the chronic stress picture.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, stress cortisol will inhibit the immune system. It’s–it’s common knowledge that it does that. Well, people know that stress, you know, if you’re more stressed, you’re more likely to get sick, right? People know that. Well, cortisol is one of those stress hormones that’s gonna be intimately tied in to weakening the immune system. Not to mention that, blood sugar. Blood sugar issues, adding extra sugar to your diet. I did a blog post a year or two on immune function and I posted one study that showed people having a certain amount of glucose–I think it was 100 grams of glucose. They had their immune system inhibited up to 2 to 3 days. And because glucose actually looks similar to vitamin C, right? From a molecular standpoint. It’s actually a receptor site, I think of the lymphocyte, where vitamin C binds in to have an antioxidant effect. Well, glucose can actually pinch hit and bind in on that lymphocyte on that immune cell and again if we’re putting glucose in places where vitamin C should be, that’s not a good thing, and we know that glucose inhibits the immune function up to multiple days and that’s not good. So if you take a whole bunch of soda or a whole bunch of sugar, thinking you’re helping yourself out, then you’re just shutting your immune system down and then if you’re around sickies, a whole bunch of people that are sick and coughing, now you’re really compromising. Your chance of getting sick is through the roof now.
Evan Brand: Right. There’s so much we could talk about with immune function but I guess if I would keep the listeners interested, I’ll go ahead and say my first, well, I’ve talked about my first cure with the Matcha and the, you know, little bit of–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Matcha.
Evan Brand: Raw honey. Matcha.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Matcha. I love it.
Evan Brand: So do you know–the Matcha, the Schisandra, I like a little bit of raw honey in there when possible. The next thing that I like to go to is bone broth. I had some weird throat stuff a few weeks ago. The weather went crazy. It went from like mid 70s, low 80s to 55 and rainy all day, and I felt awful and so did my wife and we were both grumpy. So we just stayed home and just sipped on bone broth and I felt incredible. I actually like to add some extra Himalayan salt to it because I like it to be salty.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I like it, too. I do the Real salt. I’m a bigger fan of the Real right now.
Evan Brand: What’s–what’s up with that one compared to just like your standard pink Himalayan?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, pink Himalayan, they come from those Himalayan–
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Himalayan rocks so to speak. The Real salt comes from a–a reserve over at Redmond, Utah. I just like it. It dissolves better in the water. So I do a lot of salt in the water in the morning. So I just like how it just dissolves. It’s a little more pulverized, a little bit more finer.
Evan Brand: Oh, okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just the flavor. It has a little bit more of a bite. So just for me, it just–I just like it off the tip of my tongue. I have two on my table. I have a–a Real salt and also a Himalayan. The Himalayan I have is just a little bit bigger. It probably needs to go through a grinder. But the Real salt is just right for me.
Evan Brand: Yeah, now what about–now we’re on the subject of table ornaments or spices. Do you use like an organic grounded black pepper?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, we do have one on the table. I mean, I typically just take the sea salt. My wife will add and mix some things. She’ll put some cumin on things, some turmeric on things, some–some curry on certain things. Like last night, we did a little more spices, so I kinda leave it up to her for that. I’m pretty a plain Jane when it comes to my seasoning. I just like a good clean sea salt.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Maybe some basil or some parsley from time to time, depending on what I’m eating.
Evan Brand: Yup, what do you got next? I know there’s so many directions we can go with this thing on immune system.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah so, again, your immune system, right? Well, one of the first parts of the immune system is your mucosal barrier system, right? So your throat, your nose, your ears, your eyes, all those different parts of the system. Now the throat’s like kinda one of the first places that I see inflammation happening due to like a compromised immune system. So like that tickle in your throat or that slight bit of cough or that slight bit of runniness in the nose, now your body has that reaction. It’s just trying to get it out, right? Something’s coming in, it’s trying to get it out. It’s running the nose to kinda get things out, to drain things out, so we wanna support that. We don’t wanna just take something that’s gonna just suppress the mucus. Like you know, a Mucoplex or something like that that’s kinda just turn it off. We want that mucus there initially to get things out. So that’s really important. And number two, we gotta make sure the diet’s dialed in. The sugar and stuff’s out and we gotta make sure the protein’s good because a lot of the antibodies that your immune system makes, those antibodies are protein-based. If we wanna make sure we’re getting enough good clean proteins to be able to make those antibodies.
Evan Brand: We’re gonna make you’re digesting those proteins, too, so we could almost argue that betaine could be a good immune boost in a roundabout way.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, well, making sure you’re digesting your protein is, you know, huge, because anything we don’t digest it just sits there and it rots and that creates immune stress because 70-80%–70 to 80% of our immune system is in our stomach and small intestine. It’s the GALT and in the MALT. So we gotta–we gotta know that off the bat. So make sure the diet and the lifestyle stuff stuff is dialed in. I already kinda talked about the blood sugar. I did a video on this last year so just Google Dr. Justin, JustInHealth, blood sugar, and immune system and that video will come up and I talked about that study of the 100 grams of glucose inhibiting the immune system, you know, up, over a day or so, and that’s kind of a big deal.
Evan Brand: Yes, it is.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so on that note, let’s kinda dig in a little more to what the immune system is. So you have kinda 2 branches to the immune system. You have the Th1 which is cytotoxic part of the immune system. This is like a–if we look at the Armed Forces, this is kinda like the Navy Seals. This is like the–the Delta Force, the Army Rangers, the people that go into that area when it’s hot first. That’s the Th1 and the Th2 is the humoral. That’s the antibody-based immune system. So like the Th1 is like our CDA, like our natural killer cells. They go in there and they get at it first and then our Th2 immune system, this is like our antibodies. These are like our–the infantry or the people that come in after the fact to really provide the extra defense. Now regarding the analogy and equating it to the Army and stuff and the Navy, this is like the infantry or the–or the–the troops that come in later on. With our immune system, these are like our antibodies. IgA is a–a powerful antibody. This lines our nasal tract, our oral cavity, it lines our throat, it lines our gut, urinary tract and/or vaginal canal. So this provides a really good line of defense against invaders. So IgA is a big one. IgG is gonna be like our delayed immune reaction. This is why people tend to start getting better after about 7 days, because that IgG takes about a week to kind of mount an attack. So the IgG comes later. It’s a little bit slow getting to the fight. IgA is there a little bit more acutely and it lines all of those mucosal barrier systems, and then IgM is also another acute system as well that is a–is really important for mounting that acute attack.
Evan Brand: I’ve heard for some reason, every time I hear somebody talking about Th1 and Th2, I always hear about people that are really sick–I’ve heard this at like Paleo conferences–a lot of people are Th2 dominant as opposed to Th1. Why is that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, people, you’re saying Th2 dominant?
Evan Brand: Yeah, every time I hear somebody talking about Th1 and Th2, everybody is like, “Oh, I’m Th2,” and they act like it’s so much, so much more of a big deal. I just don’t fully understand.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’ve actually heard it the other way around, that it’s more Th1. Like people that are more Hashimoto’s and stuff, that’s the most common autoimmune condition, that’s Th1 dominant. But I mean, all of this–a lot of this is hyperbole to me because you have 2 branches of your immune system and the Th1 part of the immune system, this is gonna get boosted up more with like our herbs, like Echinacea, Golden Seal, medicinal mushrooms like Chaga or Reishi or Cordyceps or Coriolus, right? So like they’ll–those are more like immune stimulators, kinda so to speak. Also like Astragalus, I think I said Echinacea, Elderberry, these are more Th1. Then your Th2 stimulators tend to be more antioxidants. These are like resveratrol, turmeric, curcumin which is, you know, basically turmeric, green tea, right? More of our antioxidants tend to be more on the Th2 side. Now for me a lot of people are autoimmune and they tend to have one of their immune system branches as polarized, meaning there’s a shift. It’s either higher Th2, lower Th1 or higher Th1, lower Th2. So kind of think of it as like a seesaw. The healthier your immune system is, that seesaw is kinda in the middle. And the more unhealthy it is, one side is really up. So imagine like, a heavier person on the seesaw and then a lighter person, right? You get that major skew. The lighter person is way up in the air and the heavier person is down on the ground and vice-versa. So we wanna keep balance. So looking at things if you’re sick, I don’t really put that into account. I don’t really take the Th1 or Th2 into account that much. My goal is if someone’s starting to get sick, I want the Th1 system to get revved up because that’s really the acute system that’s getting the–the Navy Seals, the Delta Force, the Army Rangers out to mount an attack. And conventional medicine pretty much ignores the Th1 immune system, right? Vaccines don’t work off Th1, they work off Th2. They make antibodies, right? That’s the protective, you know, the protective so-called antibodies that you get from vaccinations, but Th1, you don’t get any Th1 benefit from vaccinations and actually, there’s research that say that like that seesaw, right? That vaccination may actually upregulate that Th2 and what happens to the seesaw if one side’s going up really high? The Th1 can go down on the other side. So–
Evan Brand: Yeah, and sickness occurs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and again, you want that Th1. You want your–your Navy Seals ready to go. So that’s why I’m a big fan of medicinal mushrooms and some of these herbs that either stimulate the immune system or they can actually help provide killing of the bacterial or viral–viruses that are coming in there like, for instance, the polysaccharides and the triterpenes in some of the mushrooms like Reishi can deactivate viruses. That’s powerful. Taking like a colloidal silver can be a really good viral killer, right? Those are really nice and then some of the things like astragalus can actually improve Th1, also improve your B cell production as well. Echinacea as well. So again that’s why the herbs are powerful because they really take into account the Th1 branch of the immune system that conventional medicine totally ignores.
Evan Brand: Yup. Yeah, I knew it didn’t change our action plan in terms of understanding Th1, Th2 necessarily but I’m glad that you were able to clear that up because it gets confusing quick when you dig deep into the inner workings. But then when you zoom out and you say, “Oh, we need these herbs and these mushrooms.” That’s–people are like, “Oh, thank God, it’s simple.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And again, looking at like the flu vaccine, I’m not a fan of that flu vaccine. There’s been some research on it. The Cochrane Collaborative did a full study on this, a meta-analysis, and the study was done by Dr. Thomas Jefferson. I always remember his name because he’s like a president, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But he–he did the study a–a while back looking, I think, at 15 different meta-analyses and I’ll read the conclusion here in just a second, but really it was–it’s found ineffective and the take home message was that I’d say about 90, upwards of 85 to 90% of people that get flu-like symptoms, they aren’t actually even caused by the flu. They’re caused by other viruses that mimic flu-like symptoms. The paramyxovirus, adenovirus, rhinovirus, etc. So most people that think they get the flu, they really have some kinda other virus. So now if a vaccine is specific to a strain of flu and they figure out what strain to use by looking at what strain of flu hits the Asian countries because they’re one season ahead of us and 70% of the time, they get it wrong, I mean, you really have a small percent of chance that they even get the right flu virus, but then what if you get exposed to one of these viruses that’s not even the flu, right? You’re not gonna be protected, but the nice thing about these herbs is it’s non-specific. It’s not like, well, this is good for only this infection. It’s good for boosting your immune system and things like silver are anti-viral just generally speaking, which is great.
Evan Brand: I’ve been astragalus for the last 3 or 4 months just because and I feel–I feel great from it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, astragalus is great.
Evan Brand: It’s not–it’s not–it’s not extravagant in terms of how I feel but I just feel–I feel sustainable in terms of my health. You know how sometimes you can just feel yourself like, “God, I’m really burning myself out. This is not good.” You know it’s not good inside of you, but you’re still pushing because you’re growing your business or whatever it is. I haven’t felt that way. I felt like, “Huh. I’m okay right now. I’m not the Titanic. I’m–I’m gonna make it to the other side of the ocean.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. And just reading the study here on the flu vaccine, the author’s conclusion there–Thomas Jefferson was influenza vaccines have a very modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost in the general population including pregnant women, and no evidence of association between influenza vaccination and serious adverse offense was found in comparison,” and they looked at 90 studies. So again, really insignificant regarding its effects on helping people with the flu.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so that’s important for me because we wanna upregulate people’s immune function. So let’s kinda run down a couple of things off the bat. We talked about medicinal mushrooms. I’m a big fan of Reishi. I also like Cordyceps. Chaga is good. Coreolus is good. These are some good ones. I’m switching right now from Reishi to Cordyceps because of its adaptogenic adrenal effects. So I’m just switching here. So the next one–
Evan Brand: Now let me ask you this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Let me interrupt you here. Are you noticing any serious energy improvement? Because I know cortisol is typically used a lot for endurance athletes and I know the Chinese were using it during the Olympics and that was one of their secrets. Do you notice a significant energy yourself? Because I–I personally haven’t.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You haven’t noticed?
Evan Brand: Not like extreme. I mean, I’ve only been taking it here for a couple of days but I know it’s probably a bit more of like a tonic effect. What–what do you notice from specifically?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, with the–the mushrooms, I mean, I notice more of a tonic effect. I know the research on it is robust, especially in these Asian countries, they do–it’s–it’s part of the culture a lot of times. So they’ve done a lot of research on it and I understand the research. I mean, I have a book right in front of me on my desk. I’ll show it up on the Skype. It’s called The Health Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms and it talks about how to restore immune function, improve outcomes of serious illnesses, cancer, kidneys, liver health. I mean, I’m looking at studies here where they’re citing like using some of these herbs to help organ transplants, right? I mean, this is powerful stuff. I mean, in this country, we just use immune suppressive drugs and corticosteroids, right? But in other countries, they’re using a lot of these mushrooms. So I don’t notice a huge benefit just in general but if I do get sick, I never get sick, and when I do, I recover super fast. I never have to take a day off work or seeing my patients. So that’s a good thing and you know, I operate at a high level. So my goal is to keep operating at that high level. So it’s hard to notice a big difference when you’re already at that high level.
Evan Brand: Right. I know. It’s kinda like you’ve broken the meter already, so if you come back down into the meter’s range, you may feel something but otherwise, you’re not.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I wanted to just come back to that flu vaccine thing. I’m gonna read you that part of the study. This was profound for me. It said, “Over 200 viruses can cause influenza. At best, the vaccines may only be effective against influenza A and B which only represent about 10% of all circulating viruses.” So that’s big because annually the World Health Organization estimates which viral strain should be included in the next seasons. It’s kinda like, I said, they use the Asian countries to–to predict. So you can see only 10% of those viruses are actually gonna be the flu-like viruses.
Evan Brand: That’s–that’s crazy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I know it is. So getting back to the immune system, we talked about medicinal mushrooms, so I think you can’t go wrong with Reishi. I like something that’s at least 4% standardized triterpene, you know, the extract at least 4% triterpene content, at least 10% polysaccharide. That’s the–
Evan Brand: Are you doing capsule?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I like–I like the capsule. Yep, I do.
Evan Brand: I’ve been using–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any comments on the mushrooms at all?
Evan Brand: I’ve been using Aloha Medicinal for them. Now I know that they do grow some of their stuff on sorghum, I believe.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: I can’t remember specifically, but they–they have an organic mushroom operation. It’s just always such a debate. You hear so much crap in the mushroom world of quality and, “Oh, mine’s wild-crafted,” and it’s just–it’s hard to find good quality but I’ve had great results so far with that one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great, really good.
Evan Brand: What do you use?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I use a couple. I use some by MycoHerb. I like MycoHerb a lot. Mushroom Science is one. I think it’s JBL. Their–their private practitioner line from Mushroom Science. Really good. Really good mushrooms. I like Myco–Myco Sci–MycoHerb right now. They’re out at Santa Cruz. They’re a really good company. I like them, too.
Evan Brand: Now is that a liquid? I think I’ve seen that one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, that one is a capsule.
Evan Brand: Oh, okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: Maybe I’m thinking of another thing that you’ve told me about before. I think–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, there’s another one by a company. David Winston’s company, Herbalist & Alchemist. It’s called Seven Precious Mushrooms. That’s a liquid extract that’s really powerful, too.
Evan Brand: That–that sounds awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s a good one, too. But mushrooms are a great, you know, resource to all to your medicine cabinet. Now nutrients, too, like Vitamin C is a real powerful nutrient. Anywhere between, you know, 4,000 to 8,000 milligrams or 4 to 8 grams is powerful. Typically, you can just go up to bowel tolerance. It’s a pretty good standpoint when you tap out your vitamin C reserves. You just get loose stools kinda like with magnesium and that can be powerful because that Vitamin C docks on to our receptor site right in that lymphocyte. It helps it gobble up more of those bacteria or crud more efficiently.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and I say if you’re gonna go with Vitamin C, do you use a mixed form that’s gonna have your calcium–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Flavanoids–
Evan Brand: And ascorbates–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Your flavonoids, your magnesium ascorbate, things like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, like an Ester-C or a good bioflavonoid mix with the hesperidin and the rutin, and the–the–the acerola extract. I carry one on my site that’s–that’s very good, too.
Evan Brand: Cool. Awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Next, let’s dig in. Zinc is really powerful. Again, 50 mg of zinc a day can be good. I mean, if you’re eating really good Paleo nutrients, good animal products, some nuts and seeds and such, maybe even some oysters. I mean, those can be phenomenal sources of zinc. Again, you can always do a zinc tally test. We’ve talked about this before. A zinc tally test is, I think it’s zinc chloride or zinc sulphate, one of the two. It’s one of the liquid–
Evan Brand: I think sulphate, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Zinc sulphate. You take a shot of it. It’s really cool when you go to Paleo parties. You do your shot of zinc sulphate. Yeah, but there’s no real buzz with it. But the overall goal is that you just see how good it taste, how good or bad it taste. The–the more, the faster it tastes better, the more zinc deficient you are. The faster it tastes tart or sour or metallic, the less you need.
Evan Brand: I–I’ve told people that it tastes furry when you drink zinc before.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it can taste furry like you’re chewing on like a copper wire or something.
Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: I–I’ve had it before where I’ve been so deficient where it tasted just like water until I swallowed it and then I started to taste it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: So I’ve definitely had a history of zinc deficiency.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, when we go out to the Bulletproof Conference, we’ll have to pre-game with our zinc sulphate to get ready. What do you think?
Evan Brand: Sounds good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, the zinc’s a real powerful one. Zinc’s important for the immune cells. It’s important for hydrochloric acid. It’s an important precursor for sex hormones. So I like zinc. Vitamin A is also very important. Dr. Jonathan Trites lectured on vitamin A as–as an anti-viral benefit. And we do liquid vitamin A with patients that are, you know, have a viral infection and we can combine it with vitamin C as well.
Evan Brand: To me, I–I also always stress on the importance of vitamin D. The average American is in the mid 20s or 30s anyway with their vitamin D level because they’re inside and they cover up their skin too much. So always wanting that vitamin D level minimum 50, I like 70. If you have cancer or something like that, then you should be even higher but vitamin D is so important and I think that’s part of the reason why people get sick in the winter because that level gets even low, lower than it already is. It’s already dangerously low–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: In most people.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m gonna do a shot of vitamin D right now, while you’re–while you’re talking about it, Evan.
Evan Brand: I’m guessing–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But–
Evan Brand: You’re gonna be taking 5,000 IU right now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m probably gonna be taking about 30,000.
Evan Brand: Oh, wow.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s 2,000 a drop. It’s my Emulsify vitamin D, that’s 2,000, so I do like about 10 drops, about 20,000 units. But I’m ready. My immune system is revved up. One of the protocols I give my patients for acute vitamin D dosage is we’ll actually do a thousand units, thousand IUs per pound of body weight for up to 3 days. So for myself, I’m 200 pounds. So I would do 200,000 IUs which, you know, for that I think that’s–that would be, see here, 2,000 divided by 200, so that’s about like, do the math, that’s a hundred drops. So you do that over the course of a day, do that for 3 days in a row, and that really revs up your immune system because vitamin D upregulates this anti-microbial peptide known as ca–cathelicidin. Say that 3 times fast.
Evan Brand: I don’t think I can say it one time fast.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. And that the anti-microbial peptide and it–it can gobble up viruses and gobble up intruders.
Evan Brand: Yeah and–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s also–yeah, go ahead.
Evan Brand: I wanted to interrupt you because you did the–the good way. You did the tincture for people that, you know, were not recording these videos. Maybe we should.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That we will soon.
Evan Brand: Alright, so you did the liquid. Now if you to your conventional mainstream health educator, they’re gonna give you–if they ever even consider giving you vitamin D, they’re gonna give you a little crappy tablet that has so many fillers and binders–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 50,000–
Evan Brand: It’s 50,000–yeah, it’s garbage.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Vitamin D2, it’s ergocalciferol, not cholecalciferol. They synthesize it via lanolin in the lab, right? The vegetarians and vegans love it, but it’s–it’s not–because it’s not animal-based but again, it’s not the natural vitamin D3 you get from outside. And just to be clear, vita–getting sunlight vitamin D is even better because you get all these different–these other vitamin D compounds that come along with the pre-vitamin D3 that’s made on your skin. But let’s face it, it’s just not gonna be practical in the fall. It’s not gonna be practical in the winter months. So we gotta have another strategy so vitamin D3, liquid; I like MCT-based vitamin D3. That’s super helpful and that also helps increase the T regulatory cells and the T regulatory cells, they kinda come in there and like balance out the Th1 and Th2. They come in there and they have like a modulatory effect. So we talk about adaptogens a lot, helping to modulate stress and immune function. Well, think of vitamin D as a modulator on your immune system, on that Th1 and Th2 seesaw.
Evan Brand: Uh-huh. Actually, I’ve seen at Now Foods, they have a vitamin D that’s a cholecal–calciferol.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: That’s from lanolin, so apparently now they can make D3 from it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, wow. Interesting. Yeah.
Evan Brand: It comes with a vol–extra virgin olive oil.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huh. Got it.
Evan Brand: As the filler, if you will, for the soft gel.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s better than–than most.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I like that. So vitamin D is really important. Vitamin C is really important. Vitamin A is really powerful. I mean, you can do up to 75,000 units of vitamin A and 6-8 grams of vitamin C is really powerful pack that you can do if you get sick acutely. I like that one. The Vitamin D at that acute dose of 100,000–I should say 1,000 units per pound of body weight for 3 days is powerful as well. We talked about the medicinal mushrooms. Silver is great. I’ll anywhere between a teaspoon, you know, 3-6 x a day to help knock out any viruses and I’ll even gargle with it and hold it in my throat if a bit if this–my throat’s feeling a little icky to help clean out maybe infectious debris that’s kind of bound on to the mucosal tissue. I like that. Anything else you wanna touch upon for the listeners?
Evan Brand: Well, the adaptogens, there was talk about the mushrooms and stuff can be–be considered adaptogens. But if you’re taking something that’s gonna take the load off of your adrenal glands, it’s a side effect that’s gonna boost your immune system, too. So when I–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cordyceps.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so when I start feeling like crap. If I’m taking say some mushrooms, I may add in something else to that such as Rhodiola. I really enjoy it just because sometimes the winter months in general are just depressing with that lack of bright light, so I like the mild anti-depressant effect from Rhodiola but then I feel a good endurance boost just overall for life’s vitality.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I totally agree. I’m a huge fan of adaptogens as you’ve known, I’ve gotten on this soap box many times. I mean, right now, I’m–I’m on a combination adaptogens with Rhodiola.
Evan Brand: What did you take today?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A combo. Rhodiola, ginseng, eleuthero, and ashwagandha.
Evan Brand: Cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: My–my basic combo. Some days I’ll focus on one of the other, I mean, I love it. Life’s just a little better with an adaptogen and I can deal with stress a little bit better, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So adaptogens, I think, are–are powerful. And in my blog article back, it–a couple years ago called Why You Keep Getting Sick and How To Boost Your Immune System–we’ll put that in the show notes–that’s a powerful article that kinda gives you all the nuts and bolts what we’re talking about today. So on that note, the next thing I would do is astragalus. Astragalus is really awesome herb and I do that, you know, 3 to 4 hundred milligram capsules and I’ll do that every hour or two when I’m acutely sick to really upregulate my immune system. I’ve been well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ve been using–I’ve been using Lucky’s Market. It’s very rare for people to have Lucky’s Market near them but they have a great private labeled organic astragalus that I’ve–I feel great benefits from. So that’s what I’m taking.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s a really good one, too. We talked about the ginger tea. We talked about the mushroom, the silver. Echinacea. Echinacea angustifolia is great. Huge fan of that. That’s a–has a really good immune-boosting benefit. And again I like the purpurea part as well as the angustifolia part. I do both, because Echinacea also ha–has many different kinds. So I do the aerial and root parts. Both because you get a lot of the active benets–benefits in the root, in the purpurea part. So just be mindful of that. Make sure you get one that’s powerful amount of alkaloids. The alkaloids are like the active compounds so you wanna make sure the alkaloids are higher and then make sure it’s purpurea re–roots, not just the Echinacea angustifolia, especially the flower, that’s not gonna have as much active components.
Evan Brand: Yup. I think that–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anything else?
Evan Brand: Covers it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright.
Evan Brand: I think that’s a great summary of immune support.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so what’s the take away. So if someone’s like, “Crap, Evan and Justin, you just went over my head, you guys talk too much, you bored me out. I’m–I’m 25-30 minutes in, what’s the take home? Like, what would I do here?” I would say for–my take on things off the bat would be, just cut the sugar and the crap out of your diet and make sure that’s good. If you’re under a lot of stress, do your best to modulate the stress or get some sleep, too, because that immune system requires a lot of rest and that’s part of the reason why when you get tired–or when you get sick, you get tired because the immune system is sucking up a lot of energy. So if you get tired, when you’re sick, listen to your body. Get an extra couple of hours of sleep that will allow your immune system to recharge and then on top of that and you got the diet and the lifestyle, you’re adding some protein, you’re adding some bone broth, take a look at 2 or 3, maybe even 4 of the supports that we talked about. Vitamin D and vitamin C, I think, are a really good staple. And then pick an herb or a mushroom and add that in at a therapeutic level and really get your immune system upregulated.
Evan Brand: I have nothing to add. That was great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You gotta add something.
Evan Brand: Alright, let me add something. Do some bone broth. If you’re scared of putting capsules in your mouth, which sometimes if you don’t do the research and you just take something because we told you to, I wouldn’t do that. Definitely do your own homework and stuff first and look into these things. But everybody could go to the store and buy pre-packaged organic free-range bone broth now. It’s available for like $2, the brand Pacific. They even have a bison bone broth. It’s amazing. I haven’t–I haven’t had it yet, but it’s amazing that that exist and I bought some and I have it in the pantry, so I might do that today. That’s the next thing. Do the bone broth and–and keep up with it. Good glutamine, other different nutrients inside of there. It’s–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, lot of glycine.
Evan Brand: G–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Lot of glycine, too.
Evan Brand: It’s real food, just stick with the real food.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And there’s nothing better than like curling up on a couch with little bit of bone broth and little sea salt on there and just sippin’ it. Man, it’s just like–like heaven on Earth.
Evan Brand: It’s meditative, that’s for sure.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, totally. Like I did a little ginger tea before bed last night, that was very like restorative for me, but tonight, I think I’m–I’m inspired now to do the bone broth tonight.
Evan Brand: That’s cool. You just need a little furry bunny blanket now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One of those Huggies, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Cool. Alright, Evan. Great talk. Hope everyone enjoyed listening at home and we’ll back next week.
Evan Brand: Alright, take care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks.
Evan Brand: Bye.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.
Why You Keep Getting Sick, and How to Boost Your Immune System | Part 2
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Outside of taking antibiotics for an infection or Tylenol for a fever, most people don’t have many alternatives for how to boost their immune system. There are many immune-boosting supplements out there. My goal is to mention a few supplements that you can use to increase your overall immune function without any side effects. With a strong immune system, you are less likely to come down with a cold, even if you’re around others who are sick. These supplements can also be used in lower doses to even help get your immune system ready for the stressful holiday season.
Before you use any of the suggested supplements, I recommend you go back and read part 1 of this post (“Why You Keep Getting Sick, and What You Can Do about Those Flu Symptoms!”) for the foundational lifestyle and dietary advice to boost your immune system. You will need to combine this with the right supplements. When combined they have synergistic effects and cost you fewer sick days and, at the same time, improve your quality of life.
All of the supplements recommended below are products that I use personally for myself, my family, and my patients. For easy access, I will provide links to the products in our healthy living store.
1. Vitamin D:
The single best thing you do to boost your immune system is make sure your vitamin D levels are between 60-100 ng/ml. Your body can produce its natural antibiotic (cathelicidin), which can help your body gobble up intruders. It can also help balance the immune seesaw above which can help your immune system function better (i.e., increase T-regulator cells).
A 25 OH-D test can be very helpful to assess your levels. I recommended anywhere between 10, 000-20,000 IU per day for my patients in the winter months, (which is what your body can make in the sun normally). You need to get a test to find out what your levels are so you can dose according to your body’s needs. Supplement with liquid vitamin D3. I prefer the liquid emulsified versions best (4). Vitamin D2 is plant based and is not recommended because it doesn’t increase 25 OH-D levels as fast and is not typically found in food naturally, like vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3 can be used acutely for 3 days at very high doses to help up-regulate immune function. The vitamin D protocol has been used by European doctors for many years and is also very safe.
- Take 1,000 IU per pound of body weight for 3 days. If you are 100 pounds, this would be 100,000 IU; or if you are 200 pounds, this would be 200,000 IU.
- After the 3rd day, cut the dose in half for 3 more days. Days 4-6 for a 2o0-pound individual, (100,000 IU); or for a 100-pound individual (50,000 IU). Discontinue the vitamin D after the 6th day.
- I recommend liquid emulsified vitamin D drops that contain 2,000 IU per drop, which makes it very easy to use high doses without having to take any pills.
- I do not recommend high-dose vitamin D3 therapy with infants 0-1 year old as they should be receiving vitamin D through the mother’s breast milk. These mothers should be on the protocol themselves if acutely ill to ensure adequate vitamin D for the infant.
- Contraindication for the high-dose vitamin D3 protocol follow: patients with kidney disease, sarcoidosis, or high blood-calcium levels or infants 0-1 year old.
I recommend adding in 75,000 IU of vitamin A and 6 grams of vitamin C at the first onset of sickness. This protocol packs a potent punch and should do a great job at up-regulating your immune system.
2. Think twice when you’re about to use antibiotics
Sometimes antibiotics may be necessary if you have a bacterial infection that is out of control. The problem is that antibiotics don’t work on viruses, and they don’t have any effect on strengthening your immune system. I see many people going on antibiotics year after year when in most situations it was a virus causing the infections to begin with. The action items in this post actually strengthen your immune system and make your body more resistant to even coming down with these infections to begin with.
3. Avoid the flu vaccine:
The Cochrane database did a comprehensive meta-analysis on the flu vaccine and found that
“Influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost. There is no evidence that they affect complications, such as pneumonia, or transmission.” (1)
According to research, we know that only 10 out of the 200 flu strains are even potentially protected by a flu vaccine. Said another way, you still have a 90% chance of getting a flu-like illness even with a flu vaccine. The downside is that the majority of flu vaccines do contain 25 mcg of mercury, which is the second most toxic compound on this planet, right behind uranium (1). With so many healthy and safe natural options out there, a flu vaccine would be the last option on my list to use.
This can be a powerful antibiotic and antiviral for preventing illness and can also be used even after you get sick. Remember, antibiotics can’t touch viruses, so it is nice to have a compound you can use preventively. You can also use colloidal silver therapeutically.
Let’s say you were around a bunch of sick people this holiday season, and you wanted to prevent any bugs from potentially being passed to you, this could definitely do the trick. It can be excellent for sore throats, where you can use a spray form and spray the silver directly on the infected area. An acute dosage is 1 tsp 3 time per day. It’s very difficult overdose on this product.
5. Herbal Medicines
Herbs like Echinacea, goldenseal, Andrographis, and Astragalus can be excellent to increase your overall resistance to flu and bacteria that are out to make us sick. Many studies have done testing on these herbs. These herbs are most effective when they are used at the early onset of a cold. The most active properties of these herbs are present in the “roots,” yet many supplements only contain the flower or the stems. These herbs are shown to up-regulate antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial activity in the body. They’re also shown to increase white blood cell activation as well as natural killer cell activity.
6. Adaptogenic Herbs
Herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola, Panax ginseng, and licorice are excellent adrenal tonics. Most of the stress in your body is managed by your adrenal glands; this includes norepinephrine levels, cortisol levels, and sex hormone production. The more stress you’re under, the more your body is pushed into a catabolic state. This is where your body is breaking down faster than it can build up. These herbs can help push your body into an anabolic state, where your body can heal faster by reducing cortisol and up-regulating balanced levels of sex hormones
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is highly concentrated in your immune cells and can be easily depleted when your body goes into a fever. Upper respiratory infection as well as immune suppression are commonly connected to vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C also can help buffer the detrimental effects of free radicals. This is where your DNA is damaged. Vitamin C can also help boost the body’s level of natural killer cells, your body’s first level of defense. These cells help fight off and destroy any invaders that are trying to enter the body’s terrain, similar to the special forces in the military (2).
Zinc is an important trace mineral involved in over 100 enzymatic processes in the body. Immune suppression and infection are also linked to zinc deficiency. Zinc can also help improve your enzyme activity and immune-cell function. Your thymus gland, where immune cells mature and are released into circulation, strongly relies upon zinc for optimal function. When your body has less-than-optimal levels of zinc, your thymus function is decreased (3).
9. Coconut Oil
This is a great antiviral and antibacterial compound. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is a natural substance that is actually found in breast milk, too. Research has shown that it can kill various forms of strep and staph bacteria. A few tablespoons of coconut oil per day is good, even if you aren’t sick.
10. Reishi Mushroom Extract
Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has been used for thousands of years and is known as a super herb in both China and Japan. Reishi has immune-boosting, antiviral, anticancer, and liver-protective qualities to name a few (5). It is one the most studied of all the mushrooms and contains specific polysaccharides that are clinically proven to reestablish white blood cell levels.
Reishi mushrooms also contain other immune-boosting compounds known as ganoderminc acids or triterpenes. Triterpenes are proven to inhibit viruses, including HIV, by up to 50% (6, 7). If your are going to use reishi to enhance your immune system, you want to make sure you are using a reishi product from a reputable company that has at least a 10% polysaccharide and 4% triterpene content for maximal benefit.
11. Astragalus Extract
Astragulus root is a potent herb used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has many immune-boosting benefits, including, enhancing the growth of spleen cells to help destroy foreign invaders and the up-regulation of natural killer cells (the first line defense of the immune system). It also has antiviral properties.
Astragalus can increase antibody production, including IgM and IgE ab. It can also help increase mucosal immunity by boosting nasal secretions of IgA and IgG as well (8). Astragalus and reishi can work synergistically together and are safe immune-boosting compounds to take on a daily basis. These herbal medicines are the first thing I grab out of my medicine cabinet if I am feeling under the weather.
Combined with the diet and lifestyle principles from my first post, I hope these recommendations help improve your chances of not getting sick this winter season.
- Consume at least 0.5 g of protein per pound of body weight every day. This will ensure that you are getting your minimum daily intake of protein.
- Vitamin D: at a minimum 2000 IU per day should be used. I recommend getting a 25 OH-D test to see if higher levels are needed.
- Vitamin C: 1000 mg per day.
- Adaptogenic herbs: 1 gram of ashwaganda, 600 mg of rhodiola, 500 mg of eleuthero.
- Immuno Supreme: 2 capsules with breakfast.
Acute Protocol (Take at first sign of sickness!)
- Echinicea Angustifolia tincture: 1 tsp 3-4x per day.
- Epson salt bath: 2x per day to the point of sweating.
- Vitamin C: 2,000 mg 3-4x per day.
- Astragalus: 2 capsules every hour.
- Silver: 1 tsp every hour.
- Immuno Supreme: 2 capsules every two hours.
- Reishi mushroom: 500 mg every hour.
- Ginger tea recipe.
- Vitamin D: follow the high-dose vitamin D protocol above for 6 days.
- Listen to your body and get some rest!